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Photoaging: a Review of Current Literature

  • Photodermatology (B Adler and V DeLeo, Section Editor)
  • Published:
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Abstract

Purpose of Review

Photoaging, also known as extrinsic aging, consists of premature skin changes secondary to damage caused by chronic sun exposure. This review highlights epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical, and pathological features of photoaging.

Recent Findings

UV radiation is the central driver of photoaging. However, there is growing evidence that other environmental factors—including ambient air pollution and visible/infrared light—also play a key role. Furthermore, newer research suggests that skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex can all differentially mediate the process of photoaging.

Summary

UV radiation is the primary cause of photoaging, an extrinsic aging of the skin. This process can be exacerbated by other factors including air pollution, visible/infrared light, and endocrine factors. Clinically, decreased skin elasticity (solar elastosis) with wrinkle formation is a characteristic feature. However, differences in the features and timing of presentation may vary by skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex. Prevention through minimizing solar irradiation is key.

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Huang, A.H., Chien, A.L. Photoaging: a Review of Current Literature. Curr Derm Rep 9, 22–29 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13671-020-00288-0

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